Principal’s Pen: One for All

Principal's Message“Occasionally, people “prophesy.” Whether commenting on an event or a person, sometimes their words come true.

Scripture contains many prophecies. Perhaps none has more irony than Caiaphas’ prophecy. After Jesus raised Lazarus, John writes, “Many of the Jews who … had seen what Jesus did, believed in him” (John 11:45). News of Christ’s miracle spread quickly. To those who saw it, seeing was believing.

But some reported what they saw to the Pharisees who, with the chief priests, gathered the Sanhedrin. The topic was what to do about Jesus.

Caiaphas, the High Priest, spoke. Although he may well have intended his words only for that situation, they were prophetic. He said, “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish” (John 11:50). Caiaphas and others feared that if the people believed in Jesus, the Romans might invade and take away their status, power, and freedom. So, he proposed that one be sacrificed for many.

Think carefully about those words. Within them is the prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion. Our Savior—the “one man”—would “die for the people.” Jesus’ death is the fulfillment of prophecies by Moses, David, Isaiah, Zechariah, and even Caiaphas.

We don’t know if Caiaphas ever reflected on his words. But they clearly point to Jesus’ cross. It was for our sin that God’s Son died to restore our relationship with him. Yet, Jesus’ death was not just for a nation of people. It was for a world of sinners.

Caiaphas’ prophecy reaches even further. After three days, Christ rose giving assurance that his death fully redeemed us. By it, God gives us the sure hope of our own salvation and a desire to live thankfully to him.

a17year14ecOccasionally, human prophecies do come true.

Thank God that we have the sure prophecy of his Word. By it, we see our Savior—the world’s Savior—from sin.

James Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

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Principal’s Pen: Why always thankful?

frame_17970cEveryone has days on which everything seemingly goes wrong. Despite such days, you may always thank God.

Consider that…

  • You have life. God specially designed the time and location in which you live. He has specific plans for you to come to faith, to serve him and others, and to share “the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). This is life’s true meaning.
  • You are never alone. In an impersonal, uncaring world, God is your closest friend, supporter and confidante. David declares, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways” (Psalm 139:2-3).
  • You can rejoice in tribulation. No one—not even believers—escapes suffering. Sin affects us all. Yet, James tells you, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). Others see problems as burdens. You may view them as God’s training for future glory.
  • God loves you incredibly. In spite of your sin, he displayed the world’s greatest act of love by giving his Son to be your Savior. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
  • Your future is certain. Through Christ, heaven is yours. No one can take it. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

With all this in mind, you can give thanks even on your worst days.

God bless your Thanksgiving.

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or grasby@llhs.org

Principal’s Pen: Oh so relevant

Some say, “Christianity is irrelevant!”

They believe that the Church’s primary mission is to solve humankind’s ills. So, when it does not address and resolve hunger, disease, war, and other earthly problems, they label Christianity as “irrelevant.”

Sin is the root of life’s problems. Evil forces—including our flesh—continually foster sin. James writes, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1). Moses directly states that the “inclination of the thoughts of the human heart [is] only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5). We are naturally selfish. Our interests lie within. We place ourselves first thinking we are always correct. After all, it’s easy to point out life’s problems until we realize that we are the cause.

Some assume that Christianity will solve every earthly trouble. They think that God should destroy sin at their whim. When he doesn’t, they declare that he is uncaring, unknowing, and irrelevant.

We know that God does great things. He fed 5,000. He brought two million Israelites safely through the Red Sea. He raised Lazarus. He saves you, me, and all believers. Still, he did (and does) these things in his own way at his own time to glorify his name.

heart_1705cThroughout Scripture, God instructs us to wait patiently. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Eccl. 3:1). “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand” (John 13:7).

God has a plan for everything, including life’s problems. His solutions are timely and relevant. After all, they “transcend all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Really, Christianity is relevant!

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

Principal’s Pen: Living Prayers

Nearly everyone knows the Lord’s Prayer. It is the model on what to pray.

However, in the verses preceding the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us how to pray.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8).

Our Savior makes two points. First, prayer does not have to be lengthy and ornate. The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 is just 53 words in four sentences. Not only is it simple and to-the-point, but it comes directly from Jesus.

pray2Secondly, Jesus teaches that prayer is not an if, but a when – as in, “And when you pray.” God rescued us from our sinfulness when we did everything possible to fight him. We did nothing to deserve his grace and mercy. Yet, he bought us back from sin, death, and Satan with his holy life. As his redeemed children, we now have the freedom to pray to him. God knows us and he knows our needs. He loves us and he continues to do so even when we fail. He even encourages us to address him “our Father” (Matthew 6:9).

Prayer is not dry and sterile. It is living and enriching. Through it, we speak with him “who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope
(2 Thessalonians 2:16).

God, give us lives of active and meaningful prayer.

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High. Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

Principal’s Pen: Stop squirming

“Stop squirming!” How many times have you said that, witnessed someone saying it, or wished someone would say it—perhaps to a restless child or two? Some may even recall hearing those words directed at them.

sky_12239cGod also says, “Stop squirming!” The psalmist writes, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Although our circumstances may differ from those of a fidgeting child, the message has a similar intent.

Life often distracts us from our true purpose to “love the Lord [our] God with all [our] heart and with all [our] soul and with all [our] strength and with all [our] mind” (Luke 10:27). We frequently live life, not considering the consequences of our actions. When we focus only on the here-and-now, it is only a matter of time before we begin “squirming” after the world’s allurements. Soon we find ourselves completely drawn away from our true purpose, only to follow an ungodly course.

At these times, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” His power, his wisdom, his goodness, and his righteousness are all we need. Furthermore, he makes them ours by grace through faith in Christ. When we are tempted to focus more on the present than on the hereafter, God’s voice calls us back to the reality of making him our highest treasure.

“Stop squirming!” God gives us all we need for this life and the life to come.

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

Principal’s Pen: Victory. It began in hell.

He descended into hell. We recite these words in the Apostles Creed. But, what do they mean? When did Christ descend into hell? Why did he do it? What does it mean for us?

Three days after Christ “was crucified, died and was buried,” he “rose again from the dead” (The Apostles’ Creed). Scripture provides little commentary about Jesus’ being between his burial and resurrection. His lifeless body lay in the grave. However, he earlier prophesied that he would use his “authority to take [his life] up again” (John 10:18). Doing this, he “rose again from the dead” and “he descended into hell.”

it is finishedIt is perhaps Peter who provides the most information on Christ’s descent. He writes, “After being made alive, [Christ] went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – to those who were disobedient long ago” (1 Peter 3:19-20). Jesus clearly testified to those in hell who earlier heard his message and rejected it. He preached judgment, not repentance and forgiveness. There was no second opportunity. Christ showed himself alive to those lost souls so they would know and understand that their judgment was just and right.

Christ’s descent into hell has great meaning for us. It begins his exaltation. He defeated sin, death, and Satan. His descent into hell is a victory parade in front of those who denied him. This act helps us know and trust that our Victor-Savior has “authority to take [his life] up again” and will one day raise our glorified bodies to live with him forever in heaven.

He descended into hell.” These words express an important truth of the Christian faith. They point to the risen Christ.

God bless your victorious Easter celebration!
Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again! (CW 406)

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

Principal’s Pen: Never, never, never alone

The New Year often brings a mixed bag of emotions and memories.

For some, 2017 was their best year ever. They look forward to an even greater 2018.

Others experienced one struggle after another last year. For them, 2018 brings hope that things will improve.

Whether you have just had the greatest year of your life or you are incredibly glad to see 2017 pass, the truth remains: you are not alone — ever! Our God is “with us” and he is “for us.”

alphaomega_1772cChristmas is the season of God with us. Our Savior — Immanuel — is literally “God with us.” Though this world continually changes, God does not. He comforts us in his Word by proclaiming, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (NIV 11, Revelation 22:12). He has always been with us, is always with us, and will always be with us.

Not only is our God with us at all times, but he is for us. Christ is our brother who redeemed us from sin’s curse. His holy life, innocent suffering and death, and glorious resurrection confirm Paul’s assertion, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV 11, Romans 8:31).

Begin 2018 trusting that God knows what is best. After all, he is with you and he is for you. “[Christ] said to me, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’ He also said, ‘Write, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” (EHV, Revelation 21:5).

God bless your New Year!

Jim Grasby is Principal of Lakeside Lutheran High School.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org